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Hiding Links on Client Sites

s it OK, slightly iffy or highly dodgy?

     
2:44 pm on Sep 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Asked to look at a site, I noticed a hidden link to the ex SEO that the owners were unaware was there.
Took a closer look, and he/she does it on all their client sites; good for the SEO obviously, but might not be so good for the client.

Just wondering, how do you view this operation?

7:18 pm on Sept 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Its extremely dodgy IMO

Notwithstanding the ethical issues, it is risky for him as well.

An interested Search Engine or agressive competitor could now search for a list of all his customers sites.

My first rule of SEO - 'stay off the radar'

7:33 pm on Sept 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Take a look at some of the PR0 penalties and you'll see this practice at the top of the list. If the client has approved of your placing a link from their site to yours, then it should be visible.

Now, the next thing I see coming down the pike is how many of those links are acceptable. I'm not too certain that placing a link to your site from every single page of a clients site is advisable. Many do it, but I think it will come under fire in the near future.

9:15 pm on Sept 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

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To a large extent, it's the ethical issues that interest me, and prompted this post to the 'Professional Webmaster Business Issues' forum.

Whatever about past practices, today, hiding links on clients sites strikes me as fundamentally un-professional.
I'm looking forward, (sort of) to the reactions to the first case of a client suing the SEO for their site being penalised by the Big G for 'unacceptable' practices they were not sufficiently informed about.

9:19 pm on Sept 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

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> I'm looking forward, (sort of) to the reactions to the first case of a client suing the SEO for their site being penalised by the Big G for 'unacceptable' practices they were not sufficiently informed about.

I believe there may be just such an issue taking place right now somewhere out there. ;)

4:43 am on Sept 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>>I'm not too certain that placing a [visible] link to your site from every single page of a clients site is advisable. Many do it, but I think it will come under fire in the near future.<<

p1r - A little off topic for this thread, but I can't think of a better place to post it... do you see any difference between this kind of visible link, and a visible link to, say, a parent company, that is similarly on every page of a subsidiary's site?

4:49 am on Sept 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

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That's difficult to answer. I'm only guessing at the above scenario. Based on my observations and following thousands upon thousands of backwards links, there are some issues to address. The links are being counted, I'm just not sure how much weight they are being given. That's up to the SE's algo to determine.

If I were to place myself in a spiders shoes, I would not be able to see the difference. These types of practices (hidden links and such) I think are usually addressed via a human review. And that is assuming that they come under that type of scrutiny. Excessive inbounds from same properties might raise a flag to a spider.

5:04 am on Sept 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>>hiding links

?

Doesn't that say enough? C'mon folks, 'hiding' anything is bad news. First off, I don't want 'visible' links to an SEO site on any client pages let alone hidden links. I depend on WOM for business. That's it. No ad campaign, no website and certainly not any 'hidden' links from a client site. Resorting to such tactics puts the SEO in front of the client's interests.

Additionally, letting everyone know that a site has been 'optimized' is never in the best interest of the client. Ever. Put your client in the top 5 and get as many number 1's as possible and forget promoting yourself as an 'SEO'.

Links are currency, spending that currency on your site without the site owner's knowledge is theft. Misrepresenting the value of the currency is theft. If your client doesn't know that links are currency, you haven't done your job as an SEO.

DG